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I know I have wondered time and again how to get silky straight hair. My hair has a real tendency to frizz up – it’s really thick and quite wavy. Plus I live in a fairly tropical climate, which really doesn’t help!
To get your hair smooth and shiny (and keep it that way for the entire day), it’s important to understand what hair is made up of.
The structure of human hair has three parts. The medulla lies in the center, surrounded by the cortex. The cortex contains most of the fiber mass, made up of keratin proteins and also structural lipids. Finally, wrapping around the cortex is the cuticle, which is made up of dead, overlapping cells.The cuticle actually forms a protective layer around the hair strand.
When healthy hair gets wet, it can can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in water into the cortex. The amount of water increases the more the hair is damaged. This is because the cuticles are not lying flat and the water bypasses the protective layer straight into the cortex.
In order to fight the frizz, resulting in silky straight locks, check out these tips.
1. Wash Your Hair with a Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner
It can be tempting to wash your hair every day, but shampooing too often can lead to dry and dull hair. In addition, using a shampoo with too high of a pH level can actually cause frizziness and breakage. Look for a product that has a balanced pH level – it will often boast this on the bottle!
When it comes to conditioning, stick to applying product from halfway down the hair to the ends. Rinse with cold water but only until your hair feels slightly slippery. The remaining conditioner can act as a leave-in treatment and will continue working throughout the day.
2. Blow Dry Your Hair with an Ionic Hair Dryer and Diffuser
The best blow dryers to straighten and smooth the hair are made with ionic technology. The ions produce a negative charge which is what flattens out the hair cuticle. Using a diffuser attachment will also more evenly distribute heat so that you are not overheating small sections of hair at one time.
3. Use a Hair Masque to Nourish Your Locks
At the crux of it, frizzy hair is a sign that it lacks moisture. Use a leave-in conditioning treatment or hair masque to put back the lost moisture. You can even pop on a plastic shower cap over the treatment and leave it on for at least 45 minutes to help it penetrate even deeper.
4. Style with a Flat Iron (Heat Straightener)
You can get silky straight hair with a straightener, but it is advisable to use this heat styling tool sparingly. It can be tempting to straighten your hair every day, but every other day (or less) is going to be better for your hair. Applying heat to hair can cause microscopic cracks on the hair’s surface.
It’s best to wait until your hair is completely dry before straightening. But what will happen if you straighten your hair when it’s wet, you ask?
If your hair is not dry when using a straightener you are basically boiling your hair. Bubbles form inside the hair shaft (imagine a pot of boiling water) and push out. The heat is also reducing the hair’s elasticity and removing vitamins. This causes severe breakage and brittleness
So, if heat damages hair, then how can I straighten my hair without heat? You can actually use your blow dryer on the cold air setting. Don’t apply any product to your hair and using a brush and your fingers, comb your hair until it is dry.
Remember to use a heat protectant product before using any heat (blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron etc) on your hair.
5. Use a Natural Oil to Add Shine and Smooth Down Fly-Aways
A natural oil, such as argan oil, or even coconut oil will help you achieve silky straight hair. Natural oils are easily absorbed by the hair so don’t leave any greasy residue, whereas products with synthetic oils tend to coat the hair without penetrating the shaft.
Final Tip on How to Get Silky Straight Hair
You have a couple of great choices when it comes to the right brush to get smooth hair. The first is one with natural boar bristles. Boar bristles will help to distribute sebum, the natural oil from your scalp, over the hair strands. This naturally moisturizes the hair.
The second choice is an anti frizz hair brush such as the ForBabs X-Static. This revolutionary new brush incorporates individual disposable sheets that fit over the bristles. These sheets smooth down the hair as you brush, with the added benefit of collecting loose hair, dust and dirt.
Do you struggle to get silky straight hair? Or are you lucky enough to have perfectly smooth locks? If so, I’d love to know your secrets in the comments below.